Semester of Graduation

Summer 2021


Master of Mass Communication (MMC)



Document Type



In 2020, COVID-19 became a serious health concern to people worldwide, regardless of their socioeconomic status, cultural characteristics, or political freedom. Even though this unprecedented crisis was the most impactful and dominant issue in 2020, COVID-19 was not the only issue that people were interested in. This study explored if and how national characteristics influenced global public interests during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Using popular online searches in 23 nations, this study categorized global public interests into two ways: COVID-19 related and non-COVID-19 related issues, with four and 13 sub-categories, respectively. Results showed that people in higher political freedom countries are found to be more interested in COVID-19 related issues. Various other national characteristics were influential with other separate interests. This study also found that two cultural factors (individualistic and masculine values) significantly impact global public interests in various COVID-19 related issues in different situations of the pandemic.

Committee Chair

Jeong, Yongick